I. Expand your vocabulary.

Exercise 1.The following words and word combinations can be used to describe a stressed out person. Look up their definitions and examples of usage in a dictionary.

tense and twitchy
too dumbfounded to speak
utterly knackered
wobbly with fatigue
throbbing head
a befuddled state of shock
to feel a stabbing of nerves
to be a bundle of jitters
to feel an inward clutch
to sink into oblivion
to lose one’s grip of sanity
to sound delusional
to feel a lurch of panic
to feel a nervous swoop
one’s heart’s racing
one’s heart plummets
one’s heart starts to thump
one’s voice is wobbling out of control
one’s mind is churning
one’s stomach turns inside outv one’s legs are wobbling
anger is bubbling up

Exercise 2. Recall a stressful situation you were confronted with. Describe your emotional state and feelings. Explain how you managed to cope with the stress in the end.
Exercise 3. The following words and word combinations can be used to describe emergency work or unforeseen situations at your working place. Look up their definitions and examples of usage in a dictionary.

a blip
a debacle
bowled over
not the most pristine desk
to work in a shambles
to say smth in implacable tones
to get oneself in a pickle
to feel a flicker of alarmv to feel like punching smth in frustration
to stitch smb up/to be stitched up by smb

Exercise 4. Recall a situation where you had to work extra or were to cope with an extremely hard task. Use the words from Ex. 3 to describe the problem. Use the words below to describe the solution to the problem.

to gather one’s wits
to get a grip of oneself
to muster a smile
to wrench one’s mind back to the presentv to beam with genuine enthusiasm

Exercise 5. Look up the meaning and examples of usage of the following idioms. Think of your own examples of using them in context.

at a snail’s pace
on the tip of my tongue
like an ebb in the tide
to hear on the grapevine
to come down off one’s high
to keep a lid on the story
to smile through gritted teeth

Exercise 6. Fill in the gaps with the words from the box. If necessary change their form.
whizz ebb breezy mollycoddling lax mishmash wooziness trespass bemuse
  1. My boss keeps telling the other employees that I am .
  2. She off halfway through the conversation.
  3. I didn’t want my boss to see that I was panicking so I did my best to muster a tone.
  4. That new soap opera totally her for days.
  5. Despite the fact that the hosts were polite she had a feeling that she had on their evening.
  6. After I had taken the medicine the pain in my head started to .
  7. This painkiller is a little bit too strong for me. As soon as I take it a wave of engulfs me.
  8. Children do not need .
  9. What you are saying is nonsensical .

II. Recall the novel and complete the tasks below.

Exercise 1.You are a beauty therapist and are going to give your friend a gift voucher for an “Ultimate de-stress experience”. Make up a beauty therapy programme for her, the aim of which is to “de-stress, revitalize and detoxify”.
Exercise 2. In pairs hold a discussion on the following issue:“They can’t make you stay at work on your birthday!”vs. “The deadline comes first. Prior engagements don’t count, birthdays don’t count”. Decide which point of view each of you is going to support.
Exercise 3. Describe Samantha’s “family birthday party”. What are your birthday parties like?
Exercise 4. Dwell on the necessity to stick to a dress code and to look good at work. Refer to Samantha’s words: “If I didn’t have shadows under my eyes, I’d probably get fired”.
Exercise 5. Agree or disagree: You have to make sacrifices if you wish to succeed in your career.
Exercise 6. A. Agree or disagree: It is really appalling if a girl can’t sew a button on.All well-educated girls are supposed to know how to sew on a button, darn a sock and turn a collar. B. Are you good at any of these activities?
Exercise 7. Make up your own version of a “to do” list for Samantha. Now make up a similar list for yourself and compare the two lists.
Exercise 8. Dwell on the problem of modern household appliances. Can you rely on your education and common sense only when working with them? Find 10 pieces of evidence from the book to prove your point.
Exercise 9. In groups of 4–6 conduct a discussion on the topic: What is more stressful – being a lawyer or being a housekeeper?
Exercise 10. Comment on Samantha’s words: “They really should market house-cleaning as a workout”.
Exercise 11. Agree or disagree: Cooking is all about using your senses, your instincts.
Exercise 12. Agree or disagree: You can’t have a full-blown crush after just one glimpse of smb’s body. You shouldn’t be as shallow as that.
Exercise 13. In pairs hold a discussion on the following issue: Which strategy is better – going after a man or waiting politely to be approached? Decide which point of view each of you is going to support.
Exercise 14. Do you believe Melissa’s words when she says “I’m under a great deal of time pressure right now”? Do you think she will make a good lawyer? Give your reasons.

III. Follow up activities.

Exercise 1. You are going to post a job offer in a local newspaper. Your message should include the following description: The role of a full-time housekeeper comprises
Exercise 2. Role play. Talk to your friend who has found himself in a difficult situation because he didn’t read the contract properly. Give him advice explaining that one should always read legal documents very carefully.
Exercise 3. You are going to do smth surreptitious and are afraid of being caught out. Work out a detailed plan of action.
Exercise 4. Role play. You are a renowned PR specialist and are planning to give a successful but notorious company some bad PR. Tell your colleagues how you are planning to throw the company over a barrel. (You can take Carter Spink, choose a real company or invent your own company.)